Study finds need for more apartments in Denison

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DENISON, TX -- The city saw a boom in jobs the past decade, but the workers aren't necessarily living here.

It's why Denison Development Alliance commissioned a study with a Dallas firm to evaluate the residential market.

"We need to grow residentially if we're going to continue to bring in businesses and jobs and retail," said Scott Smathers, DDA vice president of business.

The study found a strong demand for rental properties.

"Which is good news for young professionals and people who just don't want to tie themselves down to homes," Smathers said.

Ben Williams, realtor with Century 21, said that's in line with a recent trend.

"Sometimes two or three times a day, we'll answer the phone and they'll say 'I'm calling about your house on such and such street.' And we'll say 'yeah, what can I tell you about it?' 'Well can I rent it?'" he said. "No, that's a for sale sign."

Renting spiked after the housing crisis, Williams said.

"A lot of people got over their heads and out over their skies a little bit as they say, and they aren't able to buy yet," he said.

Smathers said rental properties help to encourage younger residents.

"It gives them the flexibility obviously not to have to handle the day to day maintenance on a lot of stuff, but also gives them the flexibility to move markets or move as they see fit with their families," he said.

And DDA hopes the study can entice apartment developers.

"We're trying to do an awful lot of things to improve the look and feel of the community, try to encourage people to actually live here, which then encourages us to grow in all aspects," Smathers said.

A couple of apartment developers are interested in the city, Smathers said.

Denison officials hope to see population grow by about 5 to 10 percent in the next census.

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